James Bond music

The Music of James Bond – The Complete List

James Bond is not just a character. The concept proved itself to be a huge success. And why wouldn’t it be, after mixing together sophisticated secret agents, beautiful and intelligent women, action, mystery, fascinating places, beautiful cars…

But do you know one other thing that makes a movie unforgettable? A good theme.

Sometimes the theme is so great that it sticks in your mind. You may utterly forget about the movie itself, but about those bars – no way.

Let’s make a chronological incursion through ALL the music themes from the James Bond movies! We shall see how many of them you can recognize. You are in for some big surprises! (How about a very well-known hard-rock tune?!)

James Bond Theme Music

Year 1962
Composed by: Monty Norman
Performed by: John Barry & Orchestra
Movie: Dr. No
James Bond: Sean Connery
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Monty Norman

Of course, we cannot begin other than with the famous theme music of the Agent 007 movies. Dum di-di dum dum… Anybody can recognize this one after only a few notes.

It was composed by Monty Norman. But don’t imagine that he beat his brains out about it. He took his inspiration from a musical also composed by him. More specifically from the song “Good Sign Bad Sign”, performed by an Indian character. (Do you realize what kind of James Bond movies Bollywood might have produced?!)

Until 1999, Monty Norman had earned 485,000 pounds from this theme song copyright 1)Monty Norman v. The Sunday Times” by James Ollinger. Not even the actors who interpreted James Bond earned so much money! (Don’t you feel a bit like taking up writing soundtracks?!)

English Clifford Essex Paragon Deluxe

The original version was recorded on the 21st of June 1962 2)Monty Norman v. The Sunday Times” by James Ollinger. Those very distinct guitar sounds come from an English Clifford Essex Paragon Deluxe, an instrument used by the guitar player Vic Flick. He cashed in the extraordinary amount of… 7 pounds 3)£30,000 damages for composer of 007 theme tune” by Neil Tweedie, article published in The Telegraph on March 20, 2001 (payed on the nail, witout any additional rights).

Meanwhile, there have appeared more than 70 different versions, including one played by Fanfare Ciocarlia from Romania:

This theme song also appears in the great many James Bond video games, even back when the sound was produced by 8-bit quantization. (If you remember those times, then Nostalgia must be knocking on your door.)

Something so famous couldn’t have gotten away without being subject to parody, both from a musical and a visual point of view. Mister Bean is a killer playing James Bond:

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Article written exclusively for Miratico by Velea. Lucian Velea
Lucian Velea is the founder of the website Miratico and has been a fan of the James Bond movies ever since he saw "Octopussy".

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References   [ + ]

1, 2. Monty Norman v. The Sunday Times” by James Ollinger
3. £30,000 damages for composer of 007 theme tune” by Neil Tweedie, article published in The Telegraph on March 20, 2001

Which is your favourite James Bond song?

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